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Monday, August 15, 2011

Happy Birthday

I can't believe the summer is over, and school will be starting tomorrow. I feel like we were just celebrating that summer had begun. This is always a bittersweet time of year for me. I love to have my children at home with me, but I do enjoy getting back into a normal routine. I have things that have been put off in order to adequately spend time with my children.

It's time to be responsible again.

No more sleeping in, no more late nights, no more big parties, no more just laying around. Things have to be done.

This past week, we went on a family vacation to St. Louis, Missouri. We visited museums, and the zoo, a bird sanctuary, the arch, sculpture parks, fountains, restaurants, and more. It was 5 days packed with fun!

On Saturday I celebrated my 29th birthday. It didn't quite feel like my birthday and I had to keep reminding myself that it was. We were so busy having a good time on vacation.

For a special treat, we took the kids to the Old Spaghetti Factory in downtown St. Louis. I had visited the restaurant 19 years ago on a 5th grade class trip. This restaurant has always had special meaning to me. When I was a kid, my family didn't choose to spend their money eating out at restaurants. Instead, private school education was their priority. So as a 10 year old kid, going out to the Old Spaghetti Factory was huge! I had never been to such a fancy place before. I was in awe of everything there.

Traveling back for my birthday this year was just as wonderful. We walked with our kids for over a mile to get there from our free parking garage. The food was sensational! It might have to do with the fact that we had worked up such a good appetite from our walk, or it's just that good. I loved sharing this piece of my life history with my kids.

We also did several other things that day that I won't go into right now. It was a great vacation. The part of the day that stood out to me was later in the evening. We all got in the car and headed to Wal-Mart. The kids chose a cake for me covered with flowers. They asked the baker to write "Happy Birthday Mom" in yellow frosting since they knew it was my favorite color. They picked out green birthday plates another favorite color of mine.

When we got back to the hotel we carried the table in between our two beds and had a delightful birthday party. They sang "Happy Birthday" and presented me with two gifts of candy they had purchased themselves.

It was very simple, but extremely meaningful. I am so blessed by God with the family I have. I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world.

For everyone's birthday this past year, I wrote a special blog post about them. I shared things I remembered.... My husband was kind enough to do the same thing for me.

His list was funny, sad, embarrassing, and beautiful to me. It was a perfect birthday gift. I wish I could share the complete list, but some you wouldn't understand, and others if you could understand them, you wouldn't want to. We often live secret lives with our spouses that are that way for a reason. It makes the relationship more special and uniquely charming.

From the mouth of my husband...

I remember looking forward to Geometry class. Enough said.

I remember feeling awkward waiting for the bus to technical school. I was determined not to show it, but there it is.

I remember realizing who you were when you first talked to me on AIM.
(AOL Instant Messenger)

I remember asking you to go to a school football game. Well, I guess I can't say that I actually remember. I remember that I sort of blacked out for a minute or two, but that's what I was meaning to do.

I remember the reluctant sound in your voice when you asked me to talk to your parents.

I remember a surprised look on your face the first time I called you my girlfriend. I didn't understand; you didn't explain.

I remember making burritos for you for lunch.

I remember being perfectly happy to use your coat when I was cold.

I remember getting a ring from a vending machine with you.

I remember going to apply for a job together and pretending that we didn't know each other.

I remember having to sit down when you told me about Ariel.

I remember getting a ring from a vending machine for you.
(This time it was an engagement ring)

I remember passing out on the futon after a looong day at a wedding. I ate some pancakes at Village Inn a short time later.

I remember making spaghetti together for the first time.

I remember tagging along with you to the hospital when you were in labor and having no clue what to do.

I remember the first time seeing Ariel, awake and looking around, and I still had no clue what to do.

I remember one sunny day walking to our car from the place I used to work, and all I could think about was my next conversation with you.

I remember discussing with you when to have another child and the moment we decided to do so.

I remember making sure that it happened.

I remember sitting in the car with you, frustrated because we don't know what to do about purchasing a house.

I remember the excitement in your voice the first time we toured the house we were going to buy.

I remember the hours you spent planning and building the tile floor in our new house.

I remember [discussion of Zechariah's conception here].

I remember sitting on the floor of the bathroom with you, afraid for Zechariah for the first time.

I remember the relief I felt at seeing you walk out of the door at the KCI airport.

I remember sitting on the couch with you and Zechariah, trying to decide what to do about his fever.

I remember falling in love with you.

I bought and made this dog tag at a machine in Wal-Mart after Titus and I had been dating for a couple months. I knew right away that we would be together forever. He is my other half. I love him.

Thank you, God, for my family!

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